Stephen Pumfrey's research interests lie in the history of Renaissance and early modern science and medicine. He is especially concerned with post-positivist understandings of the emergence of "new philosophy" in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. His current projects in this area investigate the importance of patronage in England, and the work of the transitional philosopher William Gilbert.
More generally, he explores the role of early modern science in the construction of modernity. He is also pioneering research using corpus linguistics in early modern texts.
'Science and patronage in England, 1570-1625' is the title of a three-year, AHRC-funded major research project which he is directed, and for which a major monograph is planned for 2012. He is also working, together with Dr Ian Stewart in Canada, on a critical edition and translation of William Gilbert's manuscript De Mundo Nostro Sublunari, to be published by Brill Academic in 2010.